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South African War Memorial, Richmond upon Thames

Description: South African War Memorial

Grade: II
Date Listed: 24 July 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1409475

OS Grid Reference: TQ1913474494
OS Grid Coordinates: 519134, 174494
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4569, -0.2867

Location: 1A Lower Grove Road, Richmond TW10 6HP

Locality: Richmond upon Thames
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: TW10 6HP

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Listing Text


Monument to the fallen of the First World War from South Africa. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, unveiled by General JC Smuts in June 1921.

Reason for Listing

The South African War Memorial in Richmond Cemetery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
*Design interest: granite cenotaph, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, inscribed in both English and Dutch;
*Historic interest: erected by The South African Hospital and Comforts Fund Committee to commemorate the thirty-nine South African soldiers who were buried in Richmond Cemetery, close to the South African Hospital (later the South African Military Hospital) that was initially based in Richmond Park. It became a focus for pilgrimage in the 1920s and '30s.


The South African War Memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled by General JC Smuts in June 1921. The design derives from Lutyens’ Cenotaph in Whitehall of 1919-20 (listed Grade I).

In order to provide care for the large number of South African troops serving in the First World War, the South African Hospital was established in Richmond Park in June 1916. In July 1918 it was amalgamated with the Richmond Military Hospital to form the South African Military Hospital. The South African Hospital and Comforts Fund Committee decided to erect a memorial to commemorate thirty-nine South African soldiers who were buried in Richmond Cemetery, which was at that time known as ‘soldiers corner'. The memorial, which overlooks the graves, is inscribed in both English and Dutch. After it was unveiled by General Smuts in 1921 it became the focus of South African pilgrimage throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1981 the Commonwealth War Graves Commission became aware of its existence and agreed to maintain the memorial on behalf of the South African Government.

Lutyens also designed a large memorial in the Transvaal and a very simple war memorial for use in South Africa that is found in a number of locations there.

Richmond Cemetery is unusually endowed with war memorials and war graves since it also includes the burial ground for the Royal Star and Garter Home. The Bromhead Memorial was erected in 1957 in memory of those from the Home who are not otherwise commemorated.


Coarse grained granite cenotaph with a slightly flared base set on a similar stone plinth.

The outward face is inscribed:
Union is Strength / Our / Glorious / Dead
Below is an inscribed cross.

The inner face, overlooking the group of graves, is inscribed:
Eendraght maakt macht / Onzen / Gevallenen / Helden

In the apex of each face is the head of a springbok in low relief.

The side elevations have a stylised stone wreath at the base and are inscribed to north and south respectively with the dates MCMXIV and MCMXIX.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.